In an attempt to provide you with some ‘feel good Friday’ vibe, here are some brief stories to make you smile. Mental Health benefits in quitting smoking In case anyone needed further encouragement to quit, a new article has debunked the idea held by some smokers that there are psychological benefits to smoking. In a [...]READ MORE
Yesterday Crikey published an article by Bernard Keene in which he cites an anonymous senior public health figure as suggesting that public health experts are unwilling to work with the alcohol industry and therefore are “undermining campaigns to reduce drinking among at-risk groups”. Professor Mike Daube AO, Professor of Health Policy, Curtin University was quoted [...]READ MORE
Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash has been censured by the Senate for misleading it and refusing to produce documentation on the “undertakings” given by her former chief of staff Alastair Furnival to “separate him” from his former role as a food industry lobbyist. The censure, supported by Labor and the Greens, has no “direct constitutional [...]READ MORE
Many thanks to Trent Yarwood, specialist infectious diseases physician and member of the Far North Queensland Senior Medical Staff Association for this overview of the current disquiet amongst Queensland doctors. Trent writes: The move by the Queensland state government to shift the state’s approx 3000 senior doctors to executive-style contracts has been met with widespread anger, including [...]READ MORE
Those of us who have more than once decided to watch our weight, know that the bathroom scales can be both friend and foe. Consequently advice on how often those who are dieting should check their weight varies. In this PHAIWA JournalWatch, Dr Melissa Stoneham explores a recent study on the impact of watching the scales.
Australia is ranked as one of the fattest nations in the developed world. The prevalence of obesity in Australia has more than doubled in the past 20 years. Experts estimate that if weight gain continues at current levels, by 2025, close to 80 per cent of all Australian adults and a third of all children will be overweight or obese.READ MORE
A new report by the Grattan Institute is making headlines with the conclusion that the government could save up to a billion dollars in health care costs with a series of reforms. An overview of Controlling the cost of care: a billion dollar hospital opportunity on the Grattan Institute website suggests that State governments should:
“pay hospitals for treatments on the basis of an average price once all avoidable costs we can measure have been removed”
“make data available to hospitals so they can compare themselves to their peers and see where they can cut costs”, and
“hold hospital boards to account when they fail to control costs”.
The report also points out that it is up to hospital leaders, managers and clinicians to find the most appropriate ways to improve and provides a timeline for implementing change commencing in 2014-15.
One health policy analyst, however, has a different perspective on the evidence.”William Foggin” writes:
In A Study in Scarlet Sherlock Holmes observed that “It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment”.
Dr Stephen Duckett and his colleagues at the Grattan Institute who worked on the hospital care paper released on 5 March would undoubtedly argue that they have all the evidence to draw the conclusions they have. All over the country hospital managers are lining up to disagree.READ MORE
In case you haven’t heard, March 6th 2014 will be Australia’s first Change Day. Originating in the UK NHS, Change Day is a grass roots movement to improve health and wellbeing. Individuals are encouraged to make a pledge about what action they will take to improve the health and wellbeing of others. The original change [...]READ MORE
As we approach the federal budget, talk of a GP co-payment to discourage ‘unnecessary’ visits is still alive and well despite a range of concerns including those articulated by the AMA and the Consumers Health Forum.
In this article from the Parliamentary Library, Amanda Biggs explores what is known and unknown about factors impacting GP visits and whether evidence exists that consumer driven over servicing is, in fact, an issue.
One argument forwarded in support of the recent proposal to impose a co-payment for GP visits is that it has the potential to reduce ‘over servicing’, and therefore overall health costs. Over servicing occurs where an unnecessary medical intervention is provided.
Imposing a consumer co-payment on the cost of visiting a doctor will encourage patients to avoid unnecessary visits, thus reducing over servicing and saving the health system money, argue advocates of co-payments. But what is the evidence that over servicing is a problem or that it is being driven by unnecessary consumer demand?READ MORE
Croakey is compiling submissions to the Australian Human Rights Commission inquiry into the impact of immigration detention on the health, well-being and development of children. *** Jaelea Skehan and Gavin Hazel from the Hunter Institute of Mental Health write: On 3 February 2014 the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, launched an inquiry [...]READ MORE
Croakey is compiling submissions to the Australian Human Rights Commission inquiry into the impact of immigration detention on the health, well-being and development of children. In the article below, psychiatrist Professor Alan Rosen argues that the immigration detention of children amounts to systematic child abuse, and notes the irony of this occurring while inquiries are [...]READ MORE